Despite the absence of good rains and soils compared to the rest of the world, South Africa’s grain producers are still achieving world-class yields, said Dr Dirk Strydom, Grain SA’s manager for grain economy and marketing.
Speaking at the first Grow for Gold National Yield Competition in Muldersdrift, north-west of Johannesburg, Strydom and Grain SA celebrated 46 producers in 16 categories for outstanding yields achieved with maize, soybean and sunflower crops. This includes both commercial and small-scale farmers.
“The economy of grain production and optimal level of profitability still remain one of the most important factors for the organisation. The Grow for Gold platform will delve somewhat deeper into statistics concerning the record-yielding crops to further promote the efficiency and sustainability of grain producers,” said Strydom.
Grain SA will use the Grow for Gold platform to give all producers an opportunity for continuous learning and improvement in order to establish what can be achieved.
Jannie de Villiers, Grain SA chief executive, thanked all participating seed companies. “This competition provide us with the actual potential growth that is evident in the yields these outstanding producers were able to achieve. These yields are vital in order to meet global food production targets by 2050 with an ever increasing population.”
During the Grow for Gold National Yield Competition grain producers competed in various categories, including dry and irrigated land both regionally and nationally. In order to have achieved the highest yields per hectare, regardless of the cultivar planted, innovative production practices and smart farming plans were vital to their success.
Grow for Gold Maize winners
- KwaZulu-Natal region: Tyson Zunckel from Bergville planting Pioneer P1197 with a yield of 13.80 ton/ha.
- Eastern Highveld region: Johann Pistorius from Standerton planting Pannar PAN 3A-124 with a yield of 15.26 ton/ha.
- Eastern-Free State region: Jaco Breytenbach from Fouriesburg planting Bayer DKC 72-74R with a competition record yield of 13.63 ton/ha.
- Central region: Danie Bester from Balfour planting Bayer DKC74-26R with a competition record yield of 14.11 ton/ha.
- North West region: Danie Le Roux from Schweizer Reneke planting Bayer DKC 75-65 BR with a competition record yield of 13.79 ton/ha.
- Water Table region: Hennie Roos from Hoopstad planting Bayer DKC 75-65 BR with a competition record yield of 13.13 ton/ha.
- Irrigation: Christo Cronje from Vrede planting Bayer DKC 64-54BR with a competition record yield of 23.47 ton/ha.
Grow for Gold Soybean winners
- KwaZulu-Natal region: Clinton Frey from Winterton planting Pioneer P64T39R with a competition record yield of 5.12 ton/ha.
- Eastern Highveld region: Gareth Allen from Middelburg planting Pioneer P48T48R with a yield of 3.60 ton/ha.
- Eastern-Free State region: Josef van Eeden from Bethlehem planting Pioneer P64T39R with a yield of 3.65 ton/ha.
- Central region: Japie Breedt from Bapsfontein planting Agriseed RA 560 RR with a competition record yield of 5.29 ton/ha.
- North West region: Wayne Preece from Coligny planting Pioneer P71T74R with a yield of 4.65 ton/ha.
- Water Table region: Willier Dreyer & IG Venter from Viljoenskroon planting Pannar PAN 1644R with a yield of 5.28 ton/ha.
- Irrigation: Tommie Scholtz from Bergville planting Pioneer P64T39R with a yield of 23.47 ton/ha.
Grow for Gold Sunflower winner
- Johan Meyer from Hartbeesfontein planting Agricol AGSUN 8251 with a competition record yield 4.44 ton/ha.
Grow for Gold small-scale winner
- Gardner Khulekani Khumalo from New Castle planting Bayer DKC 68-58 BR with a yield of 8.01 ton/ha.